(Photo by Rachel Cox)
FORT HOOD (October 10, 2013)--Soldiers with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment continued urban sniper training Thursday at Fort Hood with officers from the Austin Police Department.
The goal of the exercise was to teach the soldiers the skills snipers use in urban standoffs.
Jeff Dwyer with the Austin Police Department said APD officers have to train all the time to prepare for a shot they may have to take during a standoff.
Dwyer said the goal of the training is to show soldiers how to hit a target through such obstacles as a car windshield or a glass storefront.
This skill set is not something soldiers have been using in Afghanistan since their targets have usually been armed subjects targeted from long distances.
"They just have an armed suspect and they have to engage it for us we may have an armed subject and innocent people all around so you have to know when you can and can't take that shot," Dwyer said.
Staff Sgt. Trinity Isom said the training was helpful because they got to run through different scenarios.
"I see the training that we're doing today being very beneficial for our upcoming deployments especially if we're in a more urban environment," Isom said.
The terrain in Iraq is more developed and urbanized than the areas of Afghanistan where American troops are currently serving.
American troops are set to be in Afghanistan until the end of 2014.
The partnership between military and police departments grew when a non-profit called Operation Enduring Support helped organize training efforts for soldiers to learn skills the military wasn't teaching them.
John Roure of Operation Enduring Support said other skills soldiers have learned from police departments include crime scene investigation techniques, and dynamic entry skills that officers use when serving warrants.